On the Cliffs of Point St. George
Someday when I’m old,
When my skin is littered with wrinkles,
I’ll have to go away.
And when I do, I can’t ever come back.
I can’t tell you where I’m going,
Or even when I’ll be gone,
But I can tell you,
I want to watch the sunrise before I go.
I want to stand on the cliffs of Point St. George,
Observing the seagulls gracefully swooping down to land on the rabid ocean waters.
My eyes are always blinded by its glistening surface.
So I close them,
To hear the music of the wind one last time.
I want to feel the morning sun on my face,
To let its light pierce my pores until I’ve grown crimson
To allow it to sting me and be happy for once.
I can give it that.
I want to stand open armed at the brink of a mountain,
Playing mercy with the wind,
Feeling my heart race the adrenaline pumping through me.
I want to run barefoot across my grandparents’ unvarnished deck,
Later prying the cold splinters from the warmth of my toes,
Thanking them for reminding me what’s real.
I want to inhale the nutty aroma of a steaming black cup of coffee,
To let its bitterness burn my tongue one last time
To let it fill my entirety with warmth and joy.
I want to glide down the river one last time,
With nothing but a smile and a belly full of air to keep me from sinking.
I want to welcome the shivering cold embrace of the creek as my body breaks its surface.
I want to feel the grit of the earth’s blood beneath my fingernails,
To bask in the magic of its soft soil one last time.
I want to bury seeds of carrots, broccoli, potatoes, radishes under loose ground
And finally stay to watch them grow up.
I want to climb to the top of the tallest redwood,
To hum the forest a song and watch them sway.
I want to dance until the music stops.
I want to run until my legs can’t carry me.
I want to sing until my lungs give out.
But most of all I want to be alive while I’m living.
I don’t know where I’m going,
And I don’t know when I’ll be gone,
But I know you won’t forget me when I get there.
Rachel Johnson is a senior undergraduate student studying English with emphases in creative writing and literature. Rachel has always had a love for writing short stories, but has found a real passion for poetry in the last couple of years. She is incredibly proud to have her poem “On the Cliffs of Point St. George” as her first publication. When Rachel is not in school or working, she is usually spending time with her main love: her dog, Joey.